Chelsea and Manchester United made enquiries about David Raya before he eventually joined Arsenal, according to his agent.
Raya established himself as one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers during Brentford’s first two seasons in the top flight, while he also muscled his way into a competitive Spain setup despite being a relative unknown in his home country.
Interest in Raya’s services was widespread during the summer transfer window after he publicly revealed his desire for a new challenge, eventually joining Arsenal on an initial £3m loan with a £27m option to buy.
Raya’s agent, Jaume Munell, has confirmed that Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich made offers, while Chelsea and United also asked about his situation. But ultimately, the Gunners’ long-standing interest made them frontrunners for his signature.
“Arsenal showed interest for the first time three years ago in 2021. They tried to buy him but Brentford didn’t want to sell him at any price. After they bought Ramsdale that was an easier option but David has always been the priority,” Munell told AFTV.
“This summer, he had just one year left on his contract with Brentford and Arsenal was the club that showed the most concrete interest and have always been our priority.
“Tottenham also was interested and made an official bid but it was refused because was lower than the €40m (£35m) that Brentford wanted to sell him, also Bayern Munich was interested and had an amazing offer but with no buy option included and for this reason, we’ve not accepted it.
“Bayern Munich didn’t understand our refusal because they thought that Raya would have been the backup keeper at Arsenal but as you can see it’s not like this. Also Manchester United and Chelsea made an enquiry but nothing concrete.”
Despite such significant interest over the summer, Raya has made an underwhelming start to life at Arsenal having displaced Ramsdale in the starting lineup.
The Spain international has come in for criticism over his poor cross-claiming – a facet of his game that was lauded during his time at Brentford – while his shot-stopping has also been below par.